I always knew Thierry was an anxious person: very strict with himself, and his family. He wanted a picture perfect family. He built us a wonderful house, despite of an exhausting heavy truck driver job, a very active sport life, and two wonderful boys for whom he cared a lot. He had an incredible force to achieve everything he desired: he sacrificed his sleep, just because he had so much to do, and would never give up, even if he finally felt tired. So, thanks to him, we had a beautiful house, very well educated children, and our image to the outside was perfect.
Until one day he broke down, on a very early Sunday summer morning: he had gone for a run, but had to turn back, because he couldn’t breathe properly anymore.
He tried to convince me over the phone that my husband hadn’t had a heart attack, and that I could easily wait for another half an hour, to drive him myself to a nearby general practitioner who would open around 8 am. A proposal I refused, of course. So a medical crew finally came to pick him up, reassuring him that his heart pain was only from panic, and then they took him to a nearby hospital. As they drove away, I reassured my children, gave them their breakfast and had a long talk with them about this event, and finally collapsed into the sofa, and slept for around two hours.
When I woke up, I didn’t have the courage to get into my car to visit Thierry. I honestly was so relieved that he was away! The many years of “military life “at home had been so exhausting, I didn’t imagine for one minute what was awaiting me the next months would only get worse! I forced myself to go and see him. As I arrived at Thierry’s cart, he was relaxed, but the doctor in charge saw me, and he immediately offered me to go home, as he preferred to stop any contact to my husband, before he had seen a psychiatrist.
So I went home, again and again relieved to be alone for once, to stop “function” like he wanted me to do. Only, I got a call two hours later: I could come and pick up my husband, who had been seen by a specialist, and he could go home immediately. When I got Thierry back in the car, the Alprazolam didn’t work anymore and he started to feel chest pain again, and hadn’t got any prescription from this psychiatrist. So we went back, and finally managed to get a prescription, so that Thierry could go on taking his drug as often he needed. That’s what he did, the next weeks and months he would visit a psychiatrist regularly, but nothing improved.
He’d lie down on the couch, day after day, not helping me, only complaining that I was making too much noise, that I hadn’t managed this or that during my busy day, being tyrannical to me or to our children, who were never good enough at school or to him. He would phone me at work, day and night. He would need his parents in the middle of the night, when I was doing nightshifts, only to hold his hand.
This was a really hard time that went on and on. Having to drive him to every single appointment, driving to the emergency room some nights as he suddenly couldn’t see anymore, to only get a few eyes drops, and then I would rush to my morning shift, not having slept enough. The next time with heart pain, or with bad headaches, stomach pain. He was sure he had cancer, he would shout in the middle of the night until I would drive him to the hospital.
I finally decided to take him with me to work, leaving our two boys alone at night, so that he would stop worrying his poor parents every night that I was gone. He would sleep in a geriatric chair, night after night until he realised it couldn’t go on that way. As he decided to reduce Alprazolam, (after 4 months I think), he had a reaction on the highway: yes: he had decided to drive again! A new panic attack started and he had our two boys in the car. He stopped on the side of the highway and had to wait for his parents, whom my eldest son had phoned to come and drive him back home, where he took the next Alprazolam, and was fine again.
As he realised that he couldn’t live without this drug, it was a huge shock to him and he was so bad tempered because of that! We were guilty of everything going wrong in the house. A house he couldn’t take care of anymore, some things needed to be fixed and it would be so dramatic!
I really want to thank the Linden Method Team for being so present during these difficult moments and for never letting anyone down. Charles is the only one who has the right words to put on all these sensations the suffering. It makes life as a loved one easier because no one can really understand what is happening until they experience it. I can’t thank Charles and the team enough.
Hi, my name is Beth, I am director of Linden Tree Education.
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If you wish to book a course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Beth is director of Linden Recovery and course director of the Anxiety Recovery Retreat programmes.